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Revved up like a deuce, another crawler in the night

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Nightcrawler won the first character overview poll, narrowly beating out Hawkeye, and so he's the next one up.

Our next poll is also ready to go. You can find that here. If you haven't signed up for Board Game Geek yet, do so here. And, of course, join our guild - then you'll be able to participate in the polls. Each time, I'll remove the one who got the least votes, so two will remain from before and two will be new.

My first memories of Nightcrawler actually came when I got the X-Men Sega Genesis game years and years ago. I definitely didn't understand that game at the age of six (specifically, how you beat the computer towards the end - INGENIOUS) but Nightcrawler always stuck out to me. I loved how he could teleport through walls and the way that he bounded through levels.

Let's see if the Dice Masters version of Nightcrawler stacks up!

<h3>The Die</h3>

Nightcrawler has a TFC of four and offers up fist energy. There are no bursts on any of the die faces.

He isn't bad statistically. His fielding cost is middle of the road and while his offensive numbers aren't much to sneeze at at level one and two, they're much better at level three. He offers defense that should keep all but the heaviest hitters at bay.

Aesthetically, I love this die. I didn't at first but keep in mind that my game table is black - I didn't notice that it was a deep, clear blue until I was on a skype call with our team and got way too excited about it. Some of you may have noticed that it is in face a VERY dark navy blue on the card, but I was unable to discern that until I saw it on my computer with the brightness all the way up.

All of my Nightcrawlers are in great shape.

<h3>The Card</h3>

Thematically, Nightcrawler is all about evasion and assassination, with one of his cards dictating who can and can't block him, and the other two providing knock-outs. I think this fits with Nightcrawler's abilities - both his circus origin and the powers that he possesses.

I always saw him as a part of the X-Men, so it confused me a bit to see the the did not carry that affiliation. WizKids must be taking a hard line as to who a does and does not count for a team, which I can understand. It probably wouldn't do to have too many characters comprise one team, especially with more cards that deal with affiliation coming out.

[u][*]Fuzzy Elf - 5 cost - Non-mask characters can't block Nightcrawler.[*]Abandoned - 4 cost - At the end of the attack step, knock out one character that blocked Nightcrawler[*]Circus Freak - 4 cost - After assigning blockers but before dealing damage, knock out one character blocking Nightcrawler.[/list]

These are all very straightforward.

"Fuzzy Elf" has a major drawback - some of the best blockers are masks. Beast is a mask, and he'll provide churn for the opponent. Gambit and Storm are both masks, and you want them to be knocked out so that you can trigger their "when fielded" abilities. It'll be pretty rare that you won't see at least one mask on the other side of the board.

"Abandoned" and "Circus Freak" do almost the same thing - but there is one key difference. "Circus" knocks out the character before any damage has been done, meaning that anyone with a "when damaged" ability won't trigger from Nightcrawler. This also means that Nightcrawler would take no damage from that blocker, since they'll have been KO'd before damage has been done.

<h3>My Favorite</h3>
My hand is forced here.

My favorite is "Circus Freak." Why? Because "Fuzzy Elf" plays too well into the hands of your opponent, and I don't like the timing of "Abandoned" as much as I do "Circus Freak."

I think that there are better assassin options out there, but Nightcrawler provides a different sort of blocker control than we've talked about yet - the kind where your opponent isn't going to want to put certain characters up against him. This could provide a more favorable matchup for your other characters, depending on who you attack with. You may also be able to force your opponent into a bad decision if you use others, like Deadpool, to dictate blockers.
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